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How to Remove Spare Tire From Ford F150 Without Key?

Imagine a scenario where you need a spare tire and can not get access to it as you are not carrying the key. Wouldn’t it be frustrating? Well, I have experienced the same scenario once. And I was one minute away from making the decision of walking miles back home and getting the key.

However, I had a friend who is an expert mechanic. I gave him a call and wanted to know how to remove spare tire from Ford F150 without key. Thankfully, he knew precisely how. 

Long story short, by using the proper tools, you need to secure the socket, take the spare tire out, take the 14mm socket out, and then place the busted tire back in place. 

Want to know about the process in detail? Read through the entire article!

how to remove spare time from Ford F150 without key

What Is a Spare Tire?

Before I give you the directions regarding getting access to the spare tire without a key, I would like to ensure that you know what a spare tire is. As the name suggests, it is an extra tire that you will be carrying with your truck for emergency purposes.

Now, you might be wondering what emergency purpose I am actually talking about here. Well, one of the tires on the truck can get punctured for some reason. It can get punctured by pointy objects that are often on the roads.

Additionally, one of the tires can get flat and lose air on harsh terrains. These are the scenarios where the spare tire would come into play.

See Also:
Ford F150 Tires Guide and Recommendation

What Is a Donut Tire?

Just like the spare tire, a donut tire is a replacement tire. But this tire will be stored inside the vehicle, and you would need to use it once one of the installed tires gets flat or punctured for any reason. However, there is one key difference that separates a spare tire from a donut tire.

Unlike the spare tire, the donut tire will be comparatively smaller in size. The small size makes it easier to store it inside the truck. And this small nature is basically what gives it the donut name.

What Is the Spare Tire Key?

The spare tire key would have a locking mechanism to keep it secure with the housing. Once the lock is on, the tire will be in place and will not move from the position. As a result, the chances of the tire getting damaged or getting loose and eventually getting dropped on the road will be reasonably low.

In most cases, the spare tire key will be inside the glove box. But most of the truck drivers keep other things in those boxes. And as the key is small in size, it is pretty easy to lose it.

See Also:
How to Open Ford F150 Hood From Outside?

Does Ford F150 Have a Full-Size Spare?

Most of the trucks will ship with a donut tire. And as you know, the donut tire is comparatively small in size. And the case is the same for most of the F150s that came before 2021. Recently, Ford has been shipping their F150s with a full-sized spare tire. 

So, there is a high chance that the spare tire attached to your F150 might be a donut tire instead of a full-sized one.

Which Way Does the Spare Tire Face Ford F150?

It is essential to know which way the spare tire faces before attempting to access it without the key. If you do not install it on the right side, the replacement process will not be successful. And you will notice a lot of wobbles and handling issues while driving the truck.

Nonetheless, in short, you should install the spare tire face-side down. And the face side is the side in which everyone sees the tire as you drive the vehicle.

Where Is the Spare Tire on a Ford F150?

If you do not really know where the spare tire is on the F150, having a key will not matter at all. Usually, for most of the F150s, the tire will be on under the rear license plate. In other words, it will be around the back bumper. You will need to crawl under there to gain access to it.

See Also:
How to Get Better Gas Mileage in a Ford F150?

Where Is the Spare Tire Key on F150?

In most cases, the spare tire key will be inside the glove box. However, some of the models might have the key in different locations. For example, the 2018 F150 will have the key attached to the jack. And the jack would be located at the passengener’s back seat. Sometimes, it can be inside the remote as well.

So, if you can not find the spare tire key of the F150, look in those locations before opting for a manual unlock.

How to Remove the Spare Tire of Ford F-150 Without the Key?

With all of the related things aside, let me get back into the topic. These are the steps that you would need to follow if you want to access the spare tire without a key:

Step 1: Get the Required Tools

Before heading head first to the manual installation process, you should ensure that you have these tools:

  • Hammer
  • Extender
  • 14mm socket
  • Ratchet wrench
  • Crank
  • Flathead screwdriver

It would also be helpful if you could source out blocks and a jack. That will make the process a bit simple. But they are optional.

Step 2: Secure the Socket

The 14mm socket needs to have an appropriate socket extender. Here, the primary goal is to take the socket to the special lock. Locate the space to drive the socket through. It should be on the bumper. There should be a hole on the very left side of the vehicle. Look on the left side of the license plate if you can not find it.

Fit the base with the lock and take the hammer. Tap the socket in place and make the skirting board stick with the special lock. That will help to take the special lock off. Do not use too much force, or else you might damage the internal components.

Step 3: Get the Spare Tire

Now that the unique lock is taken care of, you need to get the tire. Take it out and install the spare tire with the dud one. Then, keep the tire you have just taken out of the assembly to the place where the spare one was sitting. Then, use the extender to re-engage the lock. It should be simple, and the lock should engage quickly.

If you do not plan to lock it in place, you can always put it on the bed. But I would recommend putting the damaged tire in the place where the spare tire was because, in that position, the tire will remain secure.

Step 4: Separate the 14 mm Socket

Once you are done with the replacement process, the only thing that is left to do is separate the socket. If you keep it in place, it can damage the internals when you drive the truck. Use a flathead screwdriver to take it out. And you will be all done with the entire process.

What Speed Should You Drive With a Spare Tire on F150?

If you have attached a donut tire, the thumb rule is not to exceed the 50 mph mark. Going faster than that can damage the donut tire and make it non-functional, which will be another trouble you would have to worry about. Also, there might be differential damage. That could demand costly repair.

On the other hand, if the replaced tire is full-sized, you will not have any limitations. But you do need to ensure that the tire is properly inflated. And the tire pressure is optimal. Otherwise, the high speed can damage the tire and make it go flat again.

See Also:
How to Change Front Wheel Bearing on Ford F150 4x4?

How Long Can You Drive on a Ford F150 Spare Tire?

As I have mentioned, spare tires are for emergency purposes. You should not really use them for regular driving. Instead, head to your destination, find a mechanic, or purchase a proper tire and replace the spare tire.

On that note, donut tires will not provide that much traction after 70 miles. The tread material is not really that capable of keeping up with the harsh nature of the paved roads. But for full-sized tires, the case is a bit different. If the pressure is correct and adequately inflated, you can use it as a regular tire.

How Durable Are Donut Tires?

Donut tires are not regular tires. They are reasonably small and offer less amount of traction on the road. The tread material is not that sturdy either, so they do not generally have a higher level of durability. For that reason, I would recommend using them for a short amount of time and for emergency purposes only.

Photo of author

Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief at F150Lab

Kevin Shaw has a vast knowledge of pickup trucks, especially the Ford F150. He has been doing various DIY fixes, upgrades, and modifications to pickup trucks for more than five years now.

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